Prevention Pays

When its time to make budgets cuts, preventative services are often some of the first to go. Straight dollar for dollar statistics are difficult to quantify when trying to show how teaching and interventions with the parents and caregivers of young children pays off in community benefits for the future. Many studies have shown though, that maximizing the potential of families and children at the very earliest stages yields countless returns that show up as reduced crime, completion of higher levels of education, and a skilled workforce that sees the value of investing back into its community.

Guests on this program bring a diversity of angles to the issue  of why investing in people is critical to the survival of a community and its economy. For the business sector, ensuring employees healthcare and childcare needs are met helps to make their workforce better able to concentrate on the job and to stay with the company longer. The  three year olds of  today are the workforce (and the caregivers) of 20 years  from now. From the Criminology view, children and parents who learn how to interact positively will be better able to interact with others in society, and have a better chance of supporting themselves, contributing to the economy rather than pulling from it. Philanthropic Foundations' contributions help by providing critical funding to programs that foster inter-agency connections and support.  Those working to provide the programs have evidence to show for every dollar invested in early childhood and continuing services a return of fifteen dollars is yielded.

The amount of time a person is involved in the care of a young child is a short stage of life. It is shorter than the school years, and usually more exhausting to the parent or caregiver. When in it little time is available to advocate for governmant funding. Once a person is beyond that stage, they are already on to the next, and those critical early years have passed. If the primary caregiver of a child is encouraged to read to that child before the age of three, it automatically gives the child a language to use when they enter kindergarten, part of what educators call "Ready to Learn".

These are just some of the facets of investing in children and families that will be discussed. We invite you to participate in the conversation with your ideas and questions. See how to do that at the bottom of this page.

Randi L. Hewit, President of the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc. Currently Ms. Hewitt is leading the Chemung County School Readiness Project, the result of local community partners, including Chemung County Childcare Council, EOP/Headstart, CIDS, Family Reading Partnership and Southern Tier Pediatrics, working together to develop a better way to meet the needs of children ages 0-5 years. These include Home Visits, Quality Childcare, Parent Education, Healthcare, and improved Public Awareness and Education. The Chemung County School Readiness Project is funded collaboratively with “new monies” from: The Community Foundation,; Chemung County and the State of New York.
Pamela Guth graduated from Utica College with a BS Psychology/ Child Life and from 2001- January 2009 was a Public Health Program Coordinator within the Maternal Child Health & Development Division of the Broome County Health Department. As the first and only coordinator of the Broome County NY Early Childhood Coalition, established in 2000 under the order of former County Executive Jeffrey Kraham, Ms. Guth planned comprehensive early childhood prevention services focusing on effective parenting, healthy children, and quality child care/early education. Ms. Guth is an active member of the Mid NY Zero to Three Network with 32 years experience in early childhood and youth development and has presented at the county, state, and national levels on topics including community collaboration, quality infant/toddler care, child development, positive guidance/discipline, health/ safety, and early childhood curriculum. ,
Christine Sharkey (Chris), Director of Community Affairs for Corning Enterprises, the Community development arm of Corning Incorporated.Christine is responsible for Corning Inc.'s childcare initiatives which include support for 3 area child care centers and an early childhood Parent Resource Center. Corning has been an active proponent and supporter of childcare for almost 30 years. While Corning's involvement began from the need to ensure safe, consistent and quality care for employee children, its three centers are open to not only employees but community families as well. Corning Inc. owns two of the three childcare facilities and is in the process of replacing one of its current centers with a multi-million dollar facility slated to open this summer.
Kevin N. Wright, Professor and Director of the Department of Human Development at Binghamton University. Mr Wright holds a PhD in Community systems planning and development from The Pennsylvania State University and an MA in Criminology and corrections from Sam Houston State University. All of his early work has been with prison poplulations and juvenile justice and delinquency programs. In addition to teaching Mr Wright is currently in involved in a Parenting Project with Lourdes Youth Sevices, designed to improve skills of parents; a program with Whitney Point schools designing an alternative to inschool suspension, and the Hope Project with the Opportunities for Broome Headstart working with aggressive children.